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Rooko's April Top 10 Tips & Tryouts

1. Finish clearing away any decaying foliage and rubbish from your plot or garden. If left lying around it is a haven for slugs snails and other pests and can also spread diseases to plants shrubs and trees.

2. If you are growing tomatoes this season and are worried about blight, here is a selection of possible blight resistant types. Ferline, Fantasio (f1), Legend.

3. April is usually a good time to use a weed and feed treatment on your lawn.

4.  Gooseberries, red and white currants can be pruned this month and give blackberry and black currant plants some high nitrogen feed.

5. Established flower beds and borders will benefit from a top dressing of general purpose fertiliser, be careful to keep it off plant leaves and emerging shoots.

6. After a relatively mild Winter in many parts of the U.K., now may a good time to prepare some homemade insect sprays or try other methods of control.  HERE'S A LINK that might be useful.

7. Main crop potato planting should be finished by the end of April. Earth up the tubers to protect them from frosts which are still likely through April and into May.

8. Onions are light feeders that prefer rich well drained soil with a pH between 6.2 to 6.8. Keep weeds down around developing onions.

9. If your lawn (or other garden areas) are affected by leatherjackets (cranefly larva) one biological control is by pathogenic nematodes.

10.
SOWING/PLANTING IN APRIL
1. Sow the following: Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chard, Kale, Kohl-Rabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Peas, Radish, Rocket, Spinach. Potatoes, Onion and shallot sets.
2.  Artichokes and Asparagus can be planted.
3. Outdoor cucumbers & tomatoes can be sown & kept in the warm.
4. Plant French Beans, Lettuce & Sweetcorn under cloches.
5.  This is a good time to plant Strawberries.
OTHER JOBS IN APRIL
1. Keep an eye on the weather as ground frost is still likely this month.
2. Keep areas of ground warmer with fleece/polythene to aid later planting.
3. Weeds are starting to appear, so hoe them off before they set seed.
4. Now is the time to erect barriers around your carrots 2 to 3ft high to combat the dreaded Carrot fly. Alternatively cover your Carrots with fleece but ensure all edges are well covered with soil. Keep Carrots earthed up.
5. Plant Onions between rows of Carrots or other plants that might repel the Carrot fly.
6. Slugs & snails will be coming out now. Combat them by: Keep the soil hoed and loose, use beer traps, spread coarse grit, pine needles, straw, sawdust around your plants.



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Rooko's April Top 10 Tips & Tryouts

1. Clear away spent flower heads from spring flowering bulbs such as hyacinth & daffs. Don't cut away or discard the foliage as it will replace the bulbs energy for its next flowering.

2. If the weather in your area has been dry enough lately and your soil is not wet and heavy, now is the time for some rotavating/digging, adding compost/manure as required to the soil.

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This little skipper flew into my kitchen today (25th Feb 2016)





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